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  • Home > Samantha Young > Fire Spirits > Borrowed Ember (Page 18)     
  • Borrowed Ember(Fire Spirits #3)(18) by Samantha Young
  • Glowering now and hating where she was leading with this, Charlie growled, “Your point?”

    “I’m saying, when Ari’s around you’re al teasing and affectionate and close. But not like in a needy, have to be with you kind of way. Like a friend, close. When Ari is in the room with Jai, that guy is totaly focused on her. When she’s not looking, he’s watching her. It’s like a freaking Jane Austen novel.”

    “That doesn’t mean anything,” Charlie argued. “We’re totaly different guys.”

    “Right,” Falon agreed, “You profess to be in love with a girl, then you give up on her without a fight, and then you screw around with her newest bestie. I doubt Jai is screwing around with anyone. I bet he hasn’t screwed around with anyone since he met her.”

    “If you’re trying to say I don’t love Ari, then you’re wrong.”

    “I think you love Ari. I just don’t think you love her enough.”

    It was like she’d slapped him. He blinked rapidly, his heart racing a little too fast as her words brought back Ari’s own words to him. Those exact same words.

    “Babe, I’m sorry.” Falon brushed a gentle hand down his cheek as he gazed down at her, lost. “I didn’t mean to go al serious on you.”

    He shook his head slowly and brought her hand to his lips, pressing a forgiving kiss to her fingers. “It’s okay. Not many girls would have this conversation with a guy they’d just slept with.”

    She grinned mischievously. “Wel, I’m not like other girls.”

    “Yeah, I’m getting that.”

    “I had a lot of fun last night. Like a lot. Like… more than I’ve had before.”

    He grinned back at her now, wrapping his arms around her waist and breathing her in. She smeled like him, and Charlie felt a rush of possessiveness he hadn’t been expecting. “You saying I’m the best you ever had?”

    “Wel, according to rumor you’ve had a lot of practice.”

    In retaliation he began to tickle her, until their fighting tumbled them back down onto the bed. Charlie pinned her there, his eyes hypnotized by the cute little bow of her mouth. She was so adorably gorgeous, but the exterior hid a sharp mind, biting wit, and openness that he found refreshing. He liked her. Smiling at the realization and feeling a little freer for it, Charlie asked softly, “Was last night the kind of fun you’d want to repeat with me?”

    Seeming to enjoy being pinned down by him, Falon made a soft little humming sound before nodding slowly. “Oh definitely.”

    As their kiss deepened, Charlie grew even more relaxed. Other than Jack, Falon was the only one he could talk to about his revenge without her flipping out on him—like Ari. No, Falon would just listen, let him talk it out. She was kind of turning into his best friend here. He stopped, puling back to look at her.

    “What?” she whispered.

    His smile was a little shy as he replied, “I like you.”

    Grinning now, Falon nodded. “Yeah. I like you too, Charlie Creagh.”

    11 - You Fear What You Don’t Understand.

    I’ve Always Understood What I Feared.

    It had been weeks now. There was no sign of curious or dangerous Jinn. No sign of The White King. Al was quiet. Too quiet, as far as Ari was concerned. She felt anxious al the time, waiting on something to happen, and she buried that anxiousness into her training with Falon and Jai. Every night she fel into bed physicaly exhausted from being beaten and bruised and battered as they tried to catch her up on years of defensive training, touching mostly on kickboxing and Krav Maga. Other days, they concentrated on Ari’s defensive magic. Out of everything, it was the hardest to control. They’d thrown bolts of energy at her, used their magic to send gym equipment flying at her—anything around them that could be used as a weapon was used as a weapon, to simulate what a real attack from a Jinn would be like. The three of them fought but they were always thinking ten steps ahead, remembering that any time they used magic it had consequences. Some Jinn wouldn’t do that, and Ari had to learn how to fight back without causing a ripple with her magic. That was the hard part. Every time she thought she’d come up with something clever, she’d realize that her defensive tactics could cause a ripple. Three times she’d tried something and then realized what she was doing, only to stop and then nearly get battered by a training weight or sliced by a knife. Ms. Maggie, who had returned the day after she’d settled in with Falon’s family, had saved her ass too many times to count.

    Only yesterday, and when Falon’s mother, Caroline, had been watching too, Falon had conjured the neighbor’s Doberman. Vicious guarded the driveway of the

    Doneli’s large home along with his brother, Terror. Dazed, scared and confused, Vicious had taken one look at Ari in that smal gymnasium, drew back his teeth and charged her. She knew she could use her own energy to create a shield that he would hit off, but her defensive energy, she’d learned, actualy hurt. Dog lover at heart, Ari didn’t want to hurt the beast. Without thinking, she’d created a pocket in the air around her and Vicious had slammed into it with a confused grunt. Immediately, he'd disappeared as Falon had thrown her ember-bright hands out, transporting him back from whence he’d come.

    “What was that?” Jai had cried out from across the room.

    Flushing, Ari had looked to Caroline who was scowling at her daughter. “I told you not to conjure the neighbor’s dogs, young lady. It’s unkind.”

    Falon had raised an eyebrow. “Unkind. Those dogs are trained to rip out my throat. I’m sure they can handle a little conjuring every now and then, mother.” She shot Ari a look. “I didn’t counter in your soft spot for growling males though.” Falon winked at her before smirking at Jai, who in return raised an eyebrow at her in warning. Laughing, Falon shrugged. “Okay, I shouldn’t have conjured the dog but Ari protected herself.”

    Jai sighed. “By using air.” He rubbed a hand over his head as he turned to Ari. “I thought we were past this. Remember, there are consequences to magic use, especialy elemental magic use.”

    “But I would have hurt him…” Ari shrugged.

    “Ari,” Caroline caled to her. The woman was giving her a no-nonsense look. “In real life, if a vicious dog comes running at you, even if it’s not there by choice, I’m afraid you’re going to have to use your defensive magic to protect yourself and others from that dog. Or any animal that is bent on attacking you.”

    “Even if it’s under Jinn magic and doesn’t realy mean it?”

    “Unfortunately yes. This is a world ful of hard decisions. It’s caled being a grown up.” Caroline smiled kindly, to soften the edge in her words and then left after shooting her daughter another warning look.

    “Right,” Jai had strode forward. “Let’s try this again.”

    Ari had tried to prove herself to Michael and the rest of the Roes by training day in and day out, and they al seemed to have warmed to her. Of course, she hadn’t met al of The Guild since there were a lot of them, and quite a few of them were elsewhere on hunting jobs. There had been some awkwardness at first, since the Roes were pretty uncomfortable with the fact that one of their own – Anabeth – had betrayed and dishonored them and tried to kil Jai and instead almost kiled Ari. But Ari never brought it up and neither did Jai.

    She caught sight of her boyfriend out of the corner of her eye as she stepped carefuly to the side, arms raised in front of her face, ready for Falon’s attack. The mat was firm beneath her feet and her body was thrumming with energy. She’d had a great night’s sleep considering she’d messed up yesterday, but rather than let it get her down, Ari was determined to make sure it never happened again. Jai was nodding encouragingly as he watched her and Falon with utter focus. She missed him. They hadn’t realy spent that much time alone together these last few weeks. He’d snuck in a few kisses here and there whenever they had gotten a piece of miraculous privacy, and there had been this one night in the gym that had gotten kind of hot, but the truth was they were usualy so tired at the end of the night they colapsed in their separate bedrooms. And of course Jai was so damn respectful of Michael…

    … It was getting to be a bit of an ache not being able to publicly be with him. Sometimes the closest she got to him was when they were sparring. Today was not one of those days though. He had her sparring with Falon so he could see exactly what she stil needed to work on. Which was a lot.

    Falon made a move and Ari stepped back with her left foot and blocked the kick with the side of her right forearm. They both stepped back, bouncing a little, warming up. And then started sparring in earnest—exchanging blows, neither one of them getting in a hit.

    “I slept with Charlie last night,” Falon admitted suddenly and Ari’s whole body just froze.

    Pain exploded across her cheekbone as Falon’s fist connected with her face. She stumbled back, her blurry vision clearing as she gasped out the breath that had been stuck in her chest at the blow.

    “What the hel…?” she heard Jai cal out.

    Falon’s face appeared in front of her, her eyes wide with concern. “Ari, are you okay? Shit, I’m sorry, I was already punching out…”

    Ari shook her head, her cheek feeling as if it were twice the size of the other one, throbbing and burning as if it had been slammed into a brick wal rather than a tiny fist. “It’s okay.”

    “I’m sorry about Charlie. I didn’t think it would… oh crap. Look, I just thought I should tel you because we’re friends and I didn’t want you to think I’m hiding anything.”

    “Ari, are you okay?” Jai asked as he stepped onto the mats, his eyebrows drawn together in concern.

    Falon glanced back at him over her shoulder. “Get some ice, wrap it in a towel.”

    He nodded and left quickly, throwing them one last puzzled look before he left.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire